31 episodes

New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie and freelance writer John Ganz delve into the world of 90s post-Cold War thrillers with Unclear and Present Danger, a podcast that explores America in an age of transition to lone superpower, at once triumphant and unsure of its role in the world.

Unclear and Present Danger Jamelle Bouie and John Ganz

    • TV & Film
    • 4.8 • 298 Ratings

New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie and freelance writer John Ganz delve into the world of 90s post-Cold War thrillers with Unclear and Present Danger, a podcast that explores America in an age of transition to lone superpower, at once triumphant and unsure of its role in the world.

    Our Man in Havana (PATREON PREVIEW)

    Our Man in Havana (PATREON PREVIEW)

    For this week's Patreon episode, Jamelle & John cover the 1959 film "Our Man in Havana," an adaptation of a 1958 Graham Greene novel by the same name. We talk Graham Greene, director Carol Reed, and Alec Guinness, the star, as well as esoteric topics like motivated reasoning, the nature of intelligence work, and the power and peril of propaganda.

    The Pelican Brief (feat. Jay Willis)

    The Pelican Brief (feat. Jay Willis)

    In this week’s episode of Unclear and Present Danger, Jamelle, John and special guest Jay Willis of Balls and Strikes discuss the 1993 adaptation of John Grisham’s “The Pelican Brief,” and ask whether anything about the movie’s plot actually makes any sense.

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (PATREON PREVIEW)

    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (PATREON PREVIEW)

    We have another Patreon episode for you and this week, it's a John favorite: the 1979 BBC adaptation of "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy." We go deep into the character of George Smiley, John le Carre's critique of the British ruling class, and the idea of national "decadence." Jamelle also spends a little time talking about the American constitutional system, so it's basically an episode where everyone is on brand.

    • 11 min
    The Fugitive (feat. Michael Liroff)

    The Fugitive (feat. Michael Liroff)

    Jamelle and John are joined by Michael Liroff of the Five Four podcast to discuss “The Fugitive,” a masterpiece of Dad cinema. They talk the liberal politics of the 1990s, the surprisingly nuanced racial politics of the film, and complain, as always, that they just don’t make them like this anymore.

    • 1 hr 10 min
    The Hunt for Red October (Take Two)

    The Hunt for Red October (Take Two)

    In this one year anniversary episode of Unclear and Present Danger, Jamelle and John return to the film that started it all, "The Hunt for Red October." They discuss the film as an elegy for the Cold War era, and further explore the dilemma of American power and identity in the post-Soviet world.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    The Firm

    The Firm

    In this episode of Unclear and Present Danger, John and Jamelle discuss the 1993 John Grisham film adaptation "The Firm." They use the genre of the legal thriller to discuss the legalization of American life in the 1990s and the turn from politics in crucible of history to management at its putative end. They also talk about Wilford Brimley, so there's that too.

    • 1 hr 9 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
298 Ratings

298 Ratings

ppurcell ,

Insightful and Fun

As a child of the Cold War I’m loving listening to reviews of movies I grew up with and came of age to, through the perspective of some guys who are younger than me but very informed and thoughtful. Every show is fun and introspective. The episodes give me new frames of reference for the experiences of a time when we accepted that nuclear death could come at any moment—a time that ended suddenly, and seems to be forgotten.

Grimoire-esque ,

Phenomenal

I swear to God that Jamelle and John made this podcast just for me. I highly suggest you join the Patreon!

wellgee ,

Great and informative

I really love this informative and very fun show with two very thoughtful and highly knowledgeable hosts! Please keep the pod going and happy 1-year anniversary!

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